The supreme administration of the new province was entrusted to a Roman governor, who had his seat at Utica. Its frontier did not need any regular defence, as the allied Numidian kingdom everywhere separated it from the inhabitants of the desert. In the matter of taxes Rome dealt on the whole with moderation. Those communities which from the beginning of the war had taken part with Rome--viz. Only the maritime towns of Utica, Hadrumetum, Little Leptis, Thapsus, Achulla, and Usalis, and the inland town of Theudalis-- retained their territory and became free cities; which was also the case with the newly-founded community of deserters. The territory of the city of Carthage--with the exception of a tract presented to Utica--and that of the other destroyed townships became Roman domain- land, which was let on lease. The remaining townships likewise forfeited in law their property in the soil and their municipal liberties; but their land and their constitution were for the time being, and until further orders from the Roman government, left to them as a possession liable to be recalled, and the communities paid annually to Rome for the use of their soil which had become Roman a once-for-all fixed tribute (stipendium), which they in their turn collected by means of a property-tax levied from the individuals liable. The real gainers, however, by this destruction of the first commercial city of the west were the Roman merchants, who, as soon as Carthage lay in ashes, flocked in troops to Utica, and from this as their head-quarters began to turn to profitable account not only the Roman province, but also the Numidian and Gaetulian regions which had hitherto been closed to them.

Macedonia And The Pseudo-Phillip Victory Of Metellus

Macedonia also disappeared about the same time as Carthage from the ranks of the nations. The four small confederacies, into which the wisdom of the Roman senate had parcelled out the ancient kingdom, could not live at peace either internally or one with another. How matters stood in the country appears from a single accidentally mentioned occurrence at Phacus, where the whole governing council of one of these confederacies were murdered on the instigation of one Damasippus. Neither the commissions sent by the senate (590), nor the foreign arbiters, such as Scipio Aemilianus (603) called in after the Greek fashion by the Macedonians, were able to establish any tolerable order. Suddenly there appeared in Thrace a young man, who called himself Philip the son of king Perseus, whom he strikingly resembled, and of the Syrian Laodice. He had passed his youth in the Mysian town of Adramytium; there he asserted that he had preserved the sure proofs of his illustrious descent. With these he had, after a vain attempt to obtain recognition in his native country, resorted to Demetrius Soter, king of Syria, his mother's brother. There were in fact some who believed the Adramytene or professed to believe him, and urged the king either to reinstate the prince in his hereditary kingdom or to cede to him the crown of Syria; whereupon Demetrius, to put an end to the foolish proceedings, arrested the pretender and sent him to the Romans. But the senate attached so little importance to the man, that it confined him in an Italian town without taking steps to have him even seriously guarded. Thus he had escaped to Miletus, where the civic authorities once more seized him and asked the Roman commissioners what they should do with the prisoner. The latter advised them to let him go; and they did so. He now tried his fortune further in Thrace; and, singularly enough, he obtained recognition and support there not only from Teres the chief of the Thracian barbarians, the husband of his father's sister, and Barsabas, but also from the prudent Byzantines. With Thracian support the so-called Philip invaded Macedonia, and, although he was defeated at first, he soon gained one victory over the Macedonian militia in the district of Odomantice beyond the Strymon, followed by a second on the west side of the river, which gave him possession of all Macedonia. Apocryphal as his story sounded, and decidedly as it was established that the real Philip, the son of Perseus, had died when eighteen years of age at Alba, and that this man, so far from being a Macedonian prince, was Andriscus a fuller of Adramytium, yet the Macedonians were too much accustomed to the rule of a king not to be readily satisfied on the point of legitimacy and to return with pleasure into the old track. Messengers arrived from the Thessalians, announcing that the pretender had advanced into their territory; the Roman commissioner Nasica, who, in the expectation that a word of earnest remonstrance would put an end to the foolish enterprise, had been sent by the senate to Macedonia without soldiers, was obliged to call out the Achaean and Pergamene troops and to protect Thessaly against the superior force by means of the Achaeans, as far as was practicable, till (605?) the praetor Juventius appeared with a legion. The latter attacked the Macedonians with his small force; but he himself fell, his army was almost wholly destroyed, and the greater part of Thessaly fell into the power of the pseudo-Philip, who conducted his government there and in Macedonia with cruelty and arrogance. At length a stronger Roman army under Quintus Caecilius Metellus appeared on the scene of conflict, and, supported by the Pergamene fleet, advanced into Macedonia. In the first cavalry combat the Macedonians retained the superiority; but soon dissensions and desertions occurred in the Macedonian army, and the blunder of the pretender in dividing his army and detaching half of it to Thessaly procured for the Romans an easy and decisive victory (606). Philip fled to the chieftain Byzes in Thrace, whither Metellus followed him and after a second victory obtained his surrender.

Province Of Macedonia

The four Macedonian confederacies had not voluntarily submitted to the pretender, but had simply yielded to force.

Italian Books
Theodor Mommsen
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book